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tv   BBC World News  BBC America  January 1, 2015 9:30am-10:01am EST

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>> hello, i'm david eades with "bbc world news." our top stories. after a year in jail, a retrial for three al jazeera journalists convicted of aiding the muslim brotherhood in egypt. >> if you work for al jazeera, automatically, you are a member in the muslim brotherhood. it is not true and it is illegal. new year celebrations in shanghai turn to tragedy, as 36 people are killed in a stampede just before midnight. the first victim has been identified from the airasia flight that went down on sunday. nine bodies have been recovered so far. and south korea welcomes north korea's proposal to hold talks.
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it hopes for a dialogue to be open soon. hello. egypt's top court has ordered a retrial of three al jazeera journalists jailed for spreading false news. the decision is the result of an appeal by the three. former bbc correspondent peter greste mohamed fahmy, and baher mohamed. they all deny collaborating with the banned muslim brotherhood and say they were simply reporting the news. the brother of mohamed fahmy says that this latest move by the court doesn't go far enough. >> i'm disappointed because i was expecting something better today. yes, a retrial, but i was expecting with that a release today.
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we were really hoping for that. we want them to come home with us today. >> the three journalists were sentenced to between seven and ten years in prison. they've now spent a year in jail. with no bail granted, it means they will stay in custody until their new trial, which defense lawyers say could take place within the month. this high-profile case has led to an international campaign driven by fellow journalists, colleagues, and friends of the three on social media and elsewhere calling for their release. our correspondent is outside court in cairo. >> reporter: in a very short session, a retrial has been ordered for the three journalists. no dates have been set yet for the new session. there were hopes that they might be released on bail. however, the judge decided that they should remain in jail. i have with me here mohamed fahmy's fiancee. how do you see today's ruling?
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>> it was expected. all the lawyers told us this is what we should expect from today. however, when i first arrived to the court, i was having hope that he might be released, might be a miracle somehow, and he's out and with us, but unfortunately, didn't happen. the retrial is a very long and very lengthy process. it might take up to a year. i can't even imagine that mohamed will stay for a year in prison. it's very hard to even imagine it. i don't have even time -- i have mixed feelings. i don't know what to feel. if i should be optimistic or scared from what will happen, but we will keep fighting until the end. it's a long battle. and i'm very concerned about mohamed's health. he has hepatitis c, and his shoulder is broken. they just did first operation,
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but the doctor informed us that he needs to do another operation. it's unfair that he stays in prison, at least they can release him for his health condition. our lawyer submitted a request early this week to the egyptian president and the egyptian prosecutor calling on mohamed to be deported to canada and to be treated as a canadian citizen. >> reporter: are you putting any help on a possible presidential pardon at some stage? >> the pardon has to come at the end of the retrial, which could be in a year or two. so i don't think that the pardon will happen now. it has to be at the end of the process.
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our hope is and what we are requesting now and we are hoping that mohamed is deported to canada and continues the trial there. and we hope that the canadian government to do more for mohamed and support our requests and for mohamed to be sent to canada. thank you. >> so we don't know yet if these requests will be answered, but we just have to wait for the new session to start very soon. >> clearly a lot of angst and concerns still for the nearest and dearest of those three. but a retrial has been ordered and the defense lawyer explained why that had happened. >> asking for retrial because they said it's major problem inside the verdict, and delivered some important news and the most important thing, ignored the main defense for the defendant.
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and they assumed that if you work for al jazeera, automatically you are a member in the muslim brotherhood. it is not true and it is illegal. and because of that, i think the court will retrial. because it's against the logic that if you work in any media, you are a member in any community. >> earlier, i spoke to the director of news for al jazeera english, and he told me all charges against the journalists should simply be dismissed. >> we demand the immediate release of all our journalists who are held in cairo and dropping the charges for the whole case because the verdict today shows that the whole process was flawed and the charges were flawed, and there is nothing that will justify retaining the journalist to report news accurately and in a fair and balanced way for one day more.
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>> right. it seems clear you're not going to get the charges dropped, but there is going to be a retrial. possibly within a month. i mean, that must come as good news, doesn't it? >> it's disappointment, because our journalists are still in prison, and there are seven more who were sentenced in absentia and their lives have been affected very negatively. the verdict today shows that the legal process from the beginning was flawed, and why keeping them in prison. they have to be out now. >> can i ask you, what is more important for you at this stage, to clear this up, to have them cleared, or to have them out? because the president has spoken about the possibility of a pardon. is that enough for you, or you want their names cleared, presumably? >> it is both, in fact.
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to have their names cleared, and to get out. it's not one or the other. i think that's very unfair choice to say either or, in this case. these are journalists who are doing public service, reporting the news in an accurate and fair way and they are in prison now, and their names have been tarnished. i think they want to be out as soon as possible. i want to take you live now to st. peter's square in the vatican because pope francis is speaking to pilgrims and tourists who gathered in the square under his balcony. we'll see him in just a second. at a mass earlier in st. peter's basilica. he prayed for blessings for the entire human family, that god grant peace to our days, peace in hearts, peace in families, peace among nations. the emphasis very much on peace, as this is world peace day, as he's been pointing out, and saying that we should pray for peace as the root of peace is
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prayer. is pope delivering his new year message. well, i'm afraid new year celebrations in shanghai turned rather into tragedy, as 36 people were killed in a stampede just before midnight. more than 40 others were injured. the crash happened in shanghai's historic river front area, knowns a the bund. spectators gathered to watch a fireworks display nearby. this report from john sudworth in shanghai. >> reporter: because of safety concerns, this year shanghai's celebrations were meant to be smaller in scale, but photos show a major public order disaster unfolding. the stampede reportedly caused by someone throwing paper money from a window. the injured were taken to a number of hospitals where
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relatives faced a distressing wait for news. >> translator: i just want to know what's going on inside the hospital. many relatives had asked to go inside and ask the hospital to give us a list of the injured, including the conscious and understand conscious ones, but nobody got back to us. >> reporter: shanghai, one of china's showcase cities with 24 million residents, traditionally celebrates its new year on the bund and once again, thousands packed on to the historic waterfront. one of the injured says people were trying to move in opposite directions. >> translator: we were down the stairs and wanted to move up, and those who were upstairs wanted to move down, so we were pushed down by the people from upstairs. all those trying to move up fell down on the stairs. >> reporter: this year, the public fireworks display had been cancelled in a desire to limit numbers, but the force of the crowd is clear from this footage showing the damage caused by the crush. china's president xi jinping has ordered a speedy investigation
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and for lessons to be learned. john sudworth, "bbc world news," shanghai. got some other news for you from around the world. in nigeria, a bomb has exploded at a military barracks. there have also been reports of gunfire. it's not yet known if there are casualties. this is where it was all happening. the explosion follows an attempted attack at another barracks on wednesday. a tropical storm that passed through the philippines this week has killed more than 50 people. the storm hit the south and center of the country with winds of up to 80 kilometers an hour. the authorities have criticized some people for ignoring storm warnings. the u.s. says it's troubled by palestinian leaders applying for membership of the international criminal court. the move could open the way for investigations into alleged israeli war crimes in gaza and the west bank. israel has threatened unspecified countermeasures in response. search and recovery teams have resumed their efforts to
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find the remains of the airasia plane which disappeared on sunday. nine bodies have now been recovered. indonesian authorities are warning it could take a week just to locate the black box recorder. police have identified one passenger, a woman from surabaya. they say her body will be released to her family shortly. in all, 162 people were on the flight which disappeared en route from surabaya to singapore. indonesian officials in jakarta have given this update. >> translator: air operations have been carried out this morning. aircraft have been to the area. and up until now, there has been no report of the discovery of bodies or plane parts on the site. hopefully with the operation from the air and sea, more can be found again today. afghanistan has officially
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taken full control of its own security after the united states and nato combat missions formally ended on wednesday. some foreign troops are staying in the country, mainly in training and support roles. but this comes just a day after a rocket hit a wedding party in the southern helmand province. at least 20 people were killed in that attack. let's go to our correspondent, joining me from the capital kabul. an historic day essentially, and one which given the events of yesterday doesn't go that well, does it? >> reporter: yes, that's right, david. as of today, some 350,000 afghan troops are now responsible for the security of the entire country. there was a ceremony at the palace this morning where the new president ashraf ghani addressed his troops, congratulating them on their new role, saying how proud he was on them and how the country was
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firmly behind them. but as you say, of course, the challenges ahead are many. the attack you referred to on the wedding party last night in the province of helmand interestingly took place in a district which had been handed over to the afghans more than six months ago, and since then has seen fierce fighting between the afghan security forces and the taliban. and we understand that a stray rocket hit the wedding party just as they were about to enter the house in which the wedding was due to take place. unfortunately, most of the victims are women and children. but as you say, perhaps a sign really of how unsettling things could be from now on. >> and we're bound to be focusing on that and looking very carefully to see what impact the taliban might yet have now in afghanistan. how much emphasis would be placed now on relations between afghanistan and pakistan to try to bring some sort of sense of the not closure, at least stability to the situation?
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>> reporter: well, interestingly enough, david, soon after the attack on that school in pakistan in the city of peshawar last month, pakistan's army chief was here in kabul the following day to hold talks with his afghan counterpart, and a few days later, general karimi was in pakistan to hold talks again with the pakistani army, and both times, john campbell, the general in charge of the nato troops here, which were in charge earlier, and of course now is merely a supporting force, and the discussion centered around possible counterterrorism cooperation, and therefore a lot of people think that perhaps that's the key to what lies ahead, how much these two countries which have had significant differences in the way they view these things can put aside those differences and perhaps join forces to try
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and target what's increasingly being seen by some as a common enemy. >> okay, for now, thanks very much indeed. south korea has welcomed an offer by the north korean leader kim jong-un for high-level talks. they've described it as meaningful and suggested dialogue could resume soon. kim jong-un's rather sudden announcement was made during his traditional new year message. he said he'd even be prepared to hold a summit with the south korean president if pyongyang's conditions were met. we've been getting a bit more on this from the bbc's kevin kim in seoul. >> reporter: for kim jong-un, the new year's day speech has become somewhat an annual ritual, and here in seoul, officials do keep a close watch about what is said. this is his third new year's speech since he took power after his father's death. in the first speech he gave two years ago, the main topic was trying to improve the economy. last year after the purge of his uncle, he spent a lot of time emphasizing stability and the
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importance in the role of the worker's party. today, the focus was clearly on improved relations with the south. today, kim jong-un said through increased dialogue and exchanges with the south, a great transformation and reform would take place this year. he said, if conditions were met, a summit meeting with the south korean president could also be considered. >> kevin kim in seoul there. still to come on the program, it's 2015 everywhere in the world now. we'll be having a look at some of the wonderful scenes of celebration ringing in the new year.
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we sneak it. we smoosh it. we savor it. we love it. hershey's is mine, yours, our chocolate. ♪ you're watching "bbc world news." these are the headlines. egypt's highest court has ordered a retrial of three al jazeera journalists convicted of spreading false news. new year celebrations in shanghai turned to tragedy after
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36 people are killed in a crush. let's get some more on our top story. egypt's highest court ordered that retrial for the al jazeera english journalists. peter greste, mohamed fahmy, and baher mohamed were all arrested in december of 2013. they were then convicted in june of aiding the banned muslim brotherhood. that's a charge which they have all denied. the president was talking only a month or two ago about a pardon. does there need to be a retrial? >> well, let's start with what is a retrial in the egyptian judicial system? actually, a retrial means that the judiciary saw a kind of procedural glitch from the prosecution to the trial or during the trial itself, and this is why they ordered a retrial. in case of bail, these people would have been convicted, it would go down in the records as
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a crime that was pardoned by the president, by whichever procedure. but a retrial might lead to acquittal or at least saying that they shouldn't have been tried in the first place. this is exactly what happened in mubarak's case. there was a conviction, a retrial, and he shouldn't have been tried in the first place. so this is something very unique to the egyptian judicial system, but it might lead to a total and complete clean slate for these three journalists. >> we've been getting reaction from a number of the relatives in particular as to the state of affairs. they wanted bail. they wanted them to be released. realistically, do you think this was probably the best they could have hoped for or the least they could have hoped for? >> well, it's a good step in a positive direction for them. that might mean that they're going to walk soon, these three journalists. but when it comes to retrial of al jazeera journalists in egypt in this time of history, it's more than a trial and more than a judicial system. there are a lot of factors that contribute. there's a show of power by the authorities now in egypt, is that they are in power, both
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inside the country and on the regional level. qatar did shut down one of its stations directed to egypt, about events that happened in egypt. it shut it down as part of an agreement sponsored and coordinated by saudi arabia to reach reconciliation with egypt. so egypt wants to say it's still there, it still has the power, and it's not totally giving in, at least for the time being. >> just briefly on the retrial, when it starts, possibly within a month, we're being told, that initial trial was sham, whatever people thought of the outcome, it was a bit of a mess, shambles as a trial. should we expect something rather more clear cut this time? >> that would be very difficult and really not realistic because the judicial system in egypt, this is the way it operates. it's shambolick, chaotic, and continues to do so. so this trial wouldn't be any different. it's just part of the parcel.
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>> thank you very much indeed for that. cities all over the world have been marking the start of the new year. as they do with their displays of fireworks, it's become a habit really to see it as a bit of a competition, who can pull off the most dazzling spectacle. we've got a few examples of their efforts.
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some pretty thorough celebrations there. there was hope, of course, for celebration, if not on that scale, out of cairo for the three al jazeera english journalists who have been in prison for the past 12 months. we do know now there is to be a retrial, but they have not been allowed to leave prison.
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no bail granted. the imprisonment itself led to some outrage on social media. a huge campaign for their release. in the course of the last year, journalists around the world staged silent protests in solidarity just like this one. this was outside the bbc here back in june. that was the time of the conviction of the three. global days of action have been held. there have been thousands of messages of support. #freeajstaff, and also #journalismisnotacrime. and since the announcement just today, plenty of reaction again on social media. the three men all have twitter accounts, and this message appeared on mohamed fahmy's site. a retrial is a milestone towards victory in our free press battle. our spirits are bulletproof. so that is the latest response
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from the word of a retrial for the al jazeera english three journalists here on "bbc world news." do stay with us throughout the day. ♪ ♪ ♪ break the ice, with breath freshening cooling crystals. ice breakers. you want an advanced degree, but sometimes work can get in the way. now capella university offers flexpath, a revolutionary new program that allows you
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hello, i'm david eades with "bbc world news." our top stories. after a year in jail a retrial is ordered for three al jazeera journalists convicted of aiding the muslim brotherhood in egypt. >> if you work for al jazeera, automatically, you are a member in the muslim brotherhood, it is not true and it is illegal. china's president demands an immediate investigation into new year celebrations in shanghai which left 36 people dead after a stampede. the first victim from the crashed airasia flight has been released back to


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